Physics, Mathematics & Education

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8) & MSc (NFQ Level 9)

Full Time – Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN200
CAO Points Range 2019: 521
Length of Course: 5 Years (BSc 4 Years + MSc 1 Year)
Average Intake: 400

Leaving Certificate:

  • O2/H6 in Mathematics
  • O2/H6 in a laboratory science (Applied Mathematics, Computer Science or Geography may be used instead of a laboratory science subject) and
  • O6/H7 in English, Irish and two other recognised subjects

Special Entry Recommendations

We recommend that all students in Physics, Mathematics & Education should have a minimum Grade H3 in Leaving Certificate Mathematics, or equivalent.

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

If you are interested in physics and mathematics, and think you might like to teach these subjects at post-primary level, then this course may be for you. It’s designed so that from the start, you study physics and mathematics, along with education, in an integrated manner. In third year, you’ll gain teaching experience by completing placements (which we find for you) in a post-primary school and as a third-level tutor.

The four-year BSc in Physics, Mathematics & Education leads directly to the one-year MSc in Mathematics and Science Education. On completion of both degrees, you are fully qualified to teach Physics and Mathematics to Higher Level Leaving Certificate Level and Science to Junior Certificate Level.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

On completion of the BSc, students have guaranteed entry to the MSc in Mathematics & Science Education, provided they have achieved a GPA of 3.08. This is equivalent to a 2.1 Honours.

Placements are integrated into this course from first year. Care is taken to slowly introduce you to placements to enable you to build confidence before teaching a class of pupils.

During the last two years of the course, students are assigned year-long placements at two different post-primary schools. These placements are designed so that students not only obtain teaching experience, but also gain a whole-of-school experience through participating in parent-teacher meetings, timetabling etc. The complete five-year course is fully accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland.

Key Facts:

The five-year course is fully accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland.

Placements are integrated into this course from first year, with year-long placements at two different post-primary schools during the final two years of the course.

What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for Physics, Mathematics & Education.

First Year

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Education
  • Biology & Chemistry
  • Elective module

Second Year

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Education
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Education
  • School Placement – one placement in a post-primary school, and one placement as a third-level tutor.

Fourth Year

  • Education
  • School Placement
  • Physics & Mathematics

Fifth Year

  • Education
  • School Placement
  • Research Project

For detailed information on subject content click here

Testimonial

“The Science DN200 course was a perfect option for me as it allowed me to study all the sciences in first year, before concentrating on my chosen pathway of Physics, Maths & Education. I am completing my MSc in Mathematics and Science Education and will qualify as a post-primary teacher this summer. Such is the flexibility of this course, however, that many other options are still available to me in both Maths and Physics. UCD offers many opportunities for students to get involved. I have been a member of UCD GAA club since first year and play with the Men’s Gaelic Football Team. It is a good way of getting a break from time spent studying.”

Jim Rossiter Student

Physics with Astronomy & Space Science

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time – Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN200
CAO Points Range 2019: 521
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 400

Leaving Certificate:

  • O2/H6 in Mathematics
  • O2/H6 in a laboratory science (Applied Mathematics, Computer Science or Geography may be used instead of a laboratory science subject) and
  • O6/H7 in English, Irish and two other recognised subjects
Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

The space sector is enjoying exceptional growth, with increasing demand for suitably qualified graduates. Satellites play a key role in navigation, communication and space exploration. This course is primarily a Physics degree that also provides an introduction to the applications of Physics in Astrophysics and Space Science. Students gain an understanding of how ground-based and space-based technologies are used to explore the universe. Astronomers pursue knowledge and understanding of the underlying processes at work in the universe through physics. The core of the degree is therefore an Institute of Physics accredited honours BSc qualification.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

The space sector demands a highly skilled workforce. There are opportunities for graduates to work with major space agencies, such as ESA and NASA, or with space companies. Since the Physics with Astronomy & Space Science degree is an accredited Physics degree, graduates are also qualified to go into medical physics, meteorology, semiconductor technology, energy, ICT and finance.

Graduates may apply for MSc programmes such as Space Science & Technology. They may also pursue research through PhD programmes in Ireland and abroad in many fields of physics.

What Will I Study

Students gain hands-on experience using professional astronomical telescopes, including UCD’s ‘Watcher’ robotic telescope in South Africa. Space instrumentation and data analysis, including programming, form part of the laboratory training.

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Physics with Astronomy & Space Science:

First Year

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Astronomy & Space Science
  • Optional Science modules
  • Elective module

Second Year

  • Physics
  • + 1 Other Science Subject
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Physics with Astronomy & Space Science Support is provided for students applying to summer internship programmes e.g. at ESA. UCD Physics offers research experience to undergraduates, including in the Astrophysics and Space Science research groups
  • Elective modules

Fourth Year

  • Physics with Astronomy & Space Science Students participate in a week-long field-trip where they undertake astronomical observations at Tenerife’s Teide Observatory.

All Science courses are full time, with many student timetables running from 9.00am to 5.00pm or later. Depending on the subject choices, a weekly timetable can include lectures, practicals and tutorials.

Assessment varies with each module but may comprise continuous assessment of practicals, written exams and online learning activities.

For detailed information on subject content click here

International Study Opportunities

Students can apply to study for a semester or year in third year in a number of universities worldwide including:

  • University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
  • San Jose State University, California, USA
  • University of Melbourne, Australia

Testimonial

“The flexibility of DN200 meant that I could focus entirely on the subject that I wanted – Physics. The experience that comes out on top in my degree is the final-year field trip to Teide Observatory in Tenerife. The experience of proposing a complex project to study a binary star system and then learning how to use a world-class telescope to conduct this research was really rewarding. Presenting my results and writing it up in a thesis was a proud moment – 4 years of hard work had led to that point and I had learned so much. I’m currently an Irish Research Council funded PhD student in the UCD Space Science Group specialising in Gamma-Ray Bursts and Gravitational Waves. I am also part of the EIRSAT-1 team, which is currently designing, building, and preparing to launch Ireland’s first satellite.”

Lána Salmon Graduate

Physics

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time – Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN200
CAO Points Range 2019: 521
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 400

Leaving Certificate:

  • O2/H6 in Mathematics
  • O2/H6 in a laboratory science (Applied Mathematics, Computer Science or Geography may be used instead of a laboratory science subject) and
  • O6/H7 in English, Irish and two other recognised subjects
Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

Physics is about the fundamental laws of the universe that govern living as well as non-living systems. It is a fundamental science, involving a deep understanding of nature derived from mathematical and experimental insights. Physics is the subject that constantly asks “why?”, questioning why matter and energy exist and act as they do, and discovering the underlying rules that govern their behaviour. Physicists now believe that all phenomena observed in the universe can be explained in terms of a handful of forces: gravity, electricity, magnetism, and weak and strong nuclear interactions.

X-rays, radioactivity and particle beams have led to advances in medicine. The invention of lasers and solid-state transistors by physicists paved the way for computers, DVD players and iPods. Understanding physical principles and discovering new laws that explain our universe at an even deeper level are the challenges that confront physicists in the 21st century.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Recent graduates have pursued careers in the following:

  • Energy technology
  • Medical physics
  • Meteorology
  • Advanced materials (e.g. semiconductor industry)
  • Geoscience
  • ICT and financial industries
  • Semi-state bodies such as EPA’s Office of Radiological Protection

Graduates are also eligible to apply for MSc programmes in Nanobio Science, Space Science & Technology, Nanotechnology, Medical Physics or Meteorology, or for PhD programmes in Ireland and abroad in diverse areas such as Radiation Physics, Physics of Advanced Materials, Atomic Physics, Particle Physics and Astrophysics.

What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Physics. Topics include fields, waves and light, quantum mechanics, astrophysics, thermal physics, optics and lasers, atomic and nuclear physics, particle physics, condensed matter physics and medical physics.

First Year

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Optional Science modules
  • Elective module

Second Year

  • Physics
  • + 1 Other Science Subject
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Physics
  • Elective modules

Fourth Year

  • Physics (includes a research project)

All Science courses are full time, with many student timetables running from 9.00am to 5.00pm or later. Depending on the subject choices, a weekly timetable can include lectures, practicals and tutorials.

Assessment varies with each module but may comprise continuous assessment of practicals, written exams and online learning activities.

For detailed information on subject content click here

International Study Opportunities

Students can apply to study for a semester or year in third year in a number of universities worldwide including:

  • University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
  • San Jose State University, California, USA
  • University of Melbourne, Australia

Testimonial

“I fell in love with Physics after discovering how much I appreciated being able to see what we learned in the classroom work first-hand in the lab. After Second Year I completed my first research internship with the UCD School of Physics. I worked closely with staff to write programs to solve equations describing white dwarf and neutron stars. I found this placement beneficial as it gave me my first taste of real scientific research. I will be travelling to University of Notre Dame this summer to undertake another internship studying radioactive materials’ impact on the environment.”

Eimear Conroy Student

Mathematics

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time – Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN200
CAO Points Range 2019: 521
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 400

Leaving Certificate:

  • O2/H6 in Mathematics
  • O2/H6 in a laboratory science (Applied Mathematics, Computer Science or Geography may be used instead of a laboratory science subject) and
  • O6/H7 in English, Irish and two other recognised subjects

Special Entry Recommendations: We recommend that all students in Mathematics should have a minimum Grade H3 in Leaving Certificate Higher Level Mathematics or equivalent.

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

Mathematics is a universal language and a tool of fundamental importance in the physical and social sciences, engineering,
technology, computer science, statistics, finance, data analytics and many other fields. The subject is thousands of years old and yet thoroughly modern. In the past 100 years the growth of mathematics has been spectacular, stimulated not only the by the needs of science, technology and commerce, but also by the intellectual challenges provided by the discipline itself. The interplay between mathematics and neighbouring subjects continues to yield many fascinating problems that require creative solutions. If you find mathematics interesting and enjoyable then this degree could be for you.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Each year sees new applications of sophisticated mathematical models and procedures in insurance and actuarial services, data analytics, the stock market, banking and industry. Employers in all of these areas seek mathematics graduates for their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Our recent graduates have found work in diverse areas, including:

  • Actuarial science
  • Banking and financial services
  • Civil service executive and administrative grades
  • Coding and cryptography companies
  • IT industry
  • Meteorology
  • Research

Opportunities for further study include include MSc and PhD programmes in Mathematical Sciences in Ireland and abroad, leading to research positions in universities or industry.

What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Mathematics. Topics include linear algebra and geometry, differential and integral calculus, graphs and networks, theory of games, groups, rings and fields, metric spaces, differential geometry and functional analysis.

First Year

  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Applied and Computational Mathematics
  • Optional Science modules
  • Elective module

Second Year

  • Mathematics
  • + 1 Other Science Subject
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Mathematics
  • Elective modules

Fourth Year

  • Mathematics (include an optional research project)

All Science courses are full time, with many student timetables running from 9.00am to 5.00pm or later. Depending on the subject choices, a weekly timetable can include lectures, practicals and tutorials.

Assessment varies with each module but may comprise continuous assessment of practicals, written exams and online learning activities.

For detailed information on subject content click here

International Study Opportunities

Students may apply to study abroad for a semester in third year in partner institutions internationally.

Testimonial

“In secondary, school I loved maths. However, University-level maths has a reputation for being unthinkably difficult, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able for it. However, I’ve found that, although hard work is essential, University Maths certainly is doable. Moreover, it’s engaging. There’s a great deal more to maths than you ever see in secondary school! The more maths you study, the more interesting it becomes, and some of the courses are really fascinating. Maths requires a lot of critical thinking and rigorous understanding, and the lecturers in UCD encourage this. They are very good at transmitting their enthusiasm to the students. What’s really great is that the maths lecturers are approachable, and keen to answer any questions you may have.”

Caitríona Byrne Graduate

Geology

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time – Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN200
CAO Points Range 2019: 521
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 400

Leaving Certificate:

  • O2/H6 in Mathematics
  • O2/H6 in a laboratory science (Applied Mathematics, Computer Science or Geography may be used instead of a laboratory science subject) and
  • O6/H7 in English, Irish and two other recognised subjects
Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

Geology is the study of the earth: the nature and origin of materials that make up our planet and the natural and energy resources it provides. It explores the processes that shape the earth (e.g. climate change, earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides). Geology addresses fundamental questions regarding the structure, age and evolution of the earth, its controlling processes and the history of life. Geology impacts profoundly on many aspects of life and society.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Geology graduates work in areas essential to understanding and protecting the environment, in industries using natural resources and developing infrastructure in roles such as geological surveyors, petroleum and mineral exploration and production geologists, mine geologists, hydrogeologists, oceanographers, geochemists, environmental consultants and engineering and structural geologists.

Graduates can also pursue a range of MSc or PhD opportunities in Ireland or abroad. Graduate programmes include the UCD MSc in Petroleum Geoscience, and programmes offered by several UK universities include MSc in Hydrogeology, MSc in Engineering Geology, and MSc in Oceanography.

What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Geology. Topics include sedimentology, palaeobiology, geochemistry, mineralogy, petrology, geophysics, structural geology,
tectonics, earth evolution, earth resources and applied geology.

First Year

  • Geology
  • Mathematics
  • Optional Science modules
  • Elective module

Second Year

  • Geology (includes a residential field course in the west of Ireland)
  • + 1 Other Science Subject
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Geology (includes residential field courses in Ireland and England)
  • Elective modules

Fourth Year

  • Geology: the year begins with a field-mapping research project, with follow-up research and report completion during the remainder of fourth year. There is a 10-day residential field course, usually held in Spain.

All Science courses are full time, with many student timetables running from 9.00am to 5.00pm or later. Depending on the subject choices, a weekly timetable can include lectures, practicals and tutorials.

Assessment varies with each module but may comprise continuous assessment of practicals, written exams and online learning activities.

For detailed information on subject content click here

Testimonial

“In Geology, field work is an essential component which is so different to a classroom learning environment. Most recently I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Almeria in Spain to study geological evolution of mountain belts. On a field trip you’re out immersed in the Geology of the area for the full day and then return in the evening to your accommodation for a well-deserved feed and a summary of what you’ve studied that day. With a degree in Geology you learn so much about how wonderfully dynamic the planet we live on is. After I graduate I want pursue a career involving the reconstruction of ancient environments. I’m currently considering undertaking further study in the mechanisms behind past climate change and catastrophic events.”

Grace Fitzgerald Student